I have never seen Showboat before so I didn’t really know what to expect aside from a boat and a man singing “Ol Man River”….
The Cape Town Opera production had both.. in shovelfuls. And more besides.
This is a tale of inter racial marriage, poverty, racial prejudice and love set aboard the Cotton Blossom steam boat as it sets sail on the Mississippi River.
The costumes were stunning, the dancing was vibrant and the singing was incredible.
The most incredible of all was Otto Maidi as Joe singing “Ol Man River”. I have never heard a voice like his before, a deep rich bass, powerful and heart breaking. He held the audience spellbound during the song and received great applause. He was the man of the show for me. Each time he came on stage everyone was thinking “Will he sing it again?”
And he did. Several times throughout the show. Massive applause and calls for “More!” each time.
That is not to take anything away from the other performers. The tenor and soprano were excellent. The lady who played Julie had a fabulous voice. Captain Andy and his over bearing wife provided the comedy.
If this production of Showboat steams into your town. GO!!!
Eleven out of Ten for the show.
Fifteen out of Ten for Ol Man River.